Continuing the Jazz Festival reports, I'll start on a low note. The gig I was most looking forward to -- Nikki Yeoh's piano trio -- was cancelled, because there was a long power cut at the Everyman theatre :( So instead I sat at the Jazz Marquee listening to the fringe events, sometimes in the sun, sampling drinks from the open-air bar beside the Town Hall. A lovely way to spend part of the bank holiday - free jazz gigs :)After turning up 12 hours too early the first time (oops), late last night we heard Don Byron's Gospel Quintet. No-one knew quite what this would be like, as Don is known for moving through different genres: at least hip-hop and klezmer as well as his jazz roots. This was his first venture into Gospel.

After the first 10 minutes I was despairing, following just free-jazz clarinet with drums, which had nothing I could enjoy or understand. Not even vaguely Gospel.Thankfully the rest of the quintet then appeared, and got down to the real business. This was 5 or 6 gospel songs from Thomas Dorsey, heavily dosed up with jazz and blues. Fantastic stuff, with fun little mini-fireworks spread throughout, including DK Dyson going scat.The band were great, and Don gave some opportunity for soloing all round. Oddly, the bass solo was less impressive than the general playing from Brad Jones, which was pacy, and yet thoughtful and very lyrical. Shame there's no recording of this quintet yet.

AuthorJonathan Clark